Who we are? We are homeless animal shelter “Penkta Koja” which was started back in 2010. Up until this year all our personnel was volunteers, but now we can afford to have few necessary constant workers, all other people are volunteers. We are a private animal shelter and we don’t put down animals if they don’t find their forever home for a long time, we keep them until it is needed. Also, we don’t get funding from the government, we only survive due to the charity of good people and organizations.
Our mission – continually reduce homeless animals number in Lithuania while taking humane measures, that is, by conducting the strict female dogs sterilization programme, responsible animal gifting and educating our society about animal welfare problems.
Our vision – reduced number of homeless animals which will lead to: only one animal in each of our cages and fenced areas; that twice a year we won’t get more than 60 – 70 young abandoned puppies; that there won’t be any animal abuse cases and people will take and care for their pets with responsibility.
Our statistics: In 2014 646 homeless dogs found refuge in our shelter and 446 of them found their loving home, 66 runaways were returned back home. In the first nine months of 2015, we already took in 522 animals and gifted 378. Currently, we have around 150 dogs and some cats.
Our purposes and functions:
- Treating and giving temporally custody to homeless animals while looking for new loving owners for them.
- Active female dog and cat sterilization campaign to avoid unnecessary offspring that often one way or another again ends up in our arms.
- Activity while sharing various stories from our daily life with society via social media, responding to their help requests.
- Organising various events and donating campaigns involving organizations that are willing to help us, implementing various projects of which the main purpose is the education of our society about responsible behaviour with domesticated animals.
- Taking over homeless animals from organizations that put down animals after 14 days of their arrival.
- The accelerating construction of the modern animal shelter. Our small and medium in size animals lives in Linksmakalnis since 2014 summer, we hope that we will be able to keep all our animals in one place in the middle of 2016.
- The improvement of living conditions for our smallest and most vulnerable to cold animals since they now live in heated premises in Linksmakalnis.
- From this year, we finally have conditions to have our own constant vet who visits our animals and looks after them – that means regular veterinarian treatment involving vaccinations, tablets against worms and sterilization.
- Finished installation of the vet cabinet.
- After the purchase of suitable for animal transportation vehicles, all pets are guaranteed to reach veterinarian if it is necessary.
- More and more homeless animals find their forever home, people are more willing to help in our cause (financially and morally), seek our help. Due to this, we are more known and receive positive reviews and our practice is appreciated.
- The intense female animals sterilization programme which we conduct allows us to strongly reduce unwanted offspring number while using humane measures. Each sterilized female dog prevents 10 unwanted lives coming into this world annually, each sterilized cat – 6. We avoid giving away not sterilized female animals.
- Finished installation of animal bathroom in the shelter.
- Finished second half of the shelter building in Linksmakalnis.
- The finished installation of personnel (dressing room and shower for volunteers and workers) premises in the shelter.
What we need from YOU? We want to kindly ask for your help with our cause to rescue and make the lives of homeless animals better. We do this because we don’t have any other option – we are lacking funds to deal with the constant and never ending flow of abandoned and rejected animals.
We are prepared to convince you of our strong will and hard work so we want to show you how much we managed to achieve in our new premises in Linksmakalnis since 2012 and share our future plans and needs.
Abandoned and neglected building (future to be animal shelter) in Linksmakalnis was bought in 2012.
First construction works are started in 2012-2013: inside premises were cleared, the necessary partitions and load-bearing structures were built, roof got replaced, plastic windows were installed.
Construction work inside the building 2013-2014: floor heating and canalization were installed, floors were made, partitions between rooms, frames of cages and fenced areas were built.
Construction work was finished in the right side of the building in 2014: premises were painted using special paints, installation of cages and fenced areas finished. First homeless animals started living in the shelter in the summer.
Our future plans and jobs:
- Continuing the strict female animals sterilization programme. This programme is a humane measure to ensure that our dogs won’t be used while breeding dogs, in a case of irresponsible animal handling and keeping there won’t be any unwanted offspring, which often ends up in our arms, and there would be fewer runaways during mating season.
- Large fenced are for dogs to run. Quite limited movement freedom of our animals is currently one of our main problems. If there are more volunteers working in the shelter on that day then we take them on longer walks while their cages or fenced areas are cleaned. But if there are only 1-2 people that day then animals are just taken outside and left tied with a leash while their cages are cleaned. We simple don’t have enough human resources to satisfy our animal’s movement needs and the constant limit of movement freedom is not good for their health. This situation would be resolved by installing suitable fenced are for our dogs to run free.
- Ventilation. Currently, we don’t have a suitable ventilation system installed and our animals and building constructions suffer from that. The installation of modern ventilation system will ensure the sufficient circulation of premises air and its quality.
- Hired workers. The bigger part of our small number of volunteers are students or working people and due to this, they can’t spend each or whole day at the shelter. This is the reason we are always lacking human resources to give our homeless animals daily care they deserve or require and maintain clean and tidy environment at the shelter. To change this situation we want to establish 4 vacancies for daily workers. This kind of measurement was already implemented in other big animal shelters in Lithuania.
- 7 fenced areas to keep big dogs outside. Some of our dogs are really big and unfit to live in relatively small cages or fenced areas in the shelter premises. They require more space and movement freedom so to satisfy their needs we want to install 7 fenced areas outdoors near the shelter building.
- Outdoor lighting and tidying the shelter environment (paths, landscaping, paving near the entrance to the shelter). The clean, beautiful and safe environment of the shelter building is an essential part of our future vision.
- The fence around the shelter property. The fence is needed to ensure the safety and welfare of our animals, shelters and local residents property.
- The management of shelter building façade, foundation insulation. Till now the investment to the façade of the building was minimal because we wanted to accelerate the installation of inside premises. We now see the future need to reconstruct the façade because the weather conditions are damaging the building and we can’t ensure the proper care of it. Due to this, our investments into the shelter premises are not always as effective as we would want.
- Staircase to the first floor. So far we have only temporally and not very safe staircase to access our premises on the first floor of our shelter.
- Youth day centre on the first floor of the shelter building. Here we plan to organize our educational activities: various lessons for children and teenagers, lectures about proper and responsible care of an animal and on other themes.